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View Full Version : First Look at the new Riptide Ukuleles



rayan
06-15-2009, 01:46 PM
I was contacted a few months ago by Boulder Creek guitars. They had just finished developing their new line of ukuleles that feature their signature side sound port.

After that I ordered a Boulder Creek guitar because, 1) I needed a new guitar because my Taylor is busted, and 2) I wanted to see what the side sound port sounded like. They gave me a nice discount to get my hands on it.

I've been using the BC guitar as my main gigging instrument and aside from the initial issues I had with the active pick up (turned out to be a busted channel on the mixer) it's been working out fairly well for me. There are some issues with some of the minor details and I wouldn't say its any better than my Taylor but I do think it is a good value for the price.

They recently sent over some pictures of their new uke line which will be debuting at the upcoming NAMM show in Nashville. Here's a sneak peak for you guys before they hit store shelves.

I'm trying to get my hands on one so we can get some sound samples to you.

More pics to come.

rayan
06-15-2009, 01:48 PM
moar pics ;)

thejumpingflea
06-15-2009, 01:50 PM
moar pics ;)

You know, it is people like you that feed my UAS. :shaka:

They are very interesting, I look forward to hearing more about them.

rayan
06-15-2009, 01:51 PM
You know, it is people like you that feed my UAS. :shaka:

They are very interesting, I look forward to hearing more about them.

I'm trying to get one here at the UU home base so we can do some sound samples for you guys.

Kanaka916
06-15-2009, 01:52 PM
Where can one get more info and any idea on the cost?

rayan
06-15-2009, 01:54 PM
Where can one get more info and any idea on the cost?

They haven't released any official press material yet, but they have said they will be priced competitively with other ukuleles made overseas (kala, ohana, lanikai etc)

deach
06-15-2009, 01:58 PM
Weird place for a side port. Seems like the sound would go in your arm pit.

Myala509
06-15-2009, 02:01 PM
Really? I think it would go right into my face the way I hold it.

rayan
06-15-2009, 02:05 PM
Weird place for a side port. Seems like the sound would go in your arm pit.

The side sound port has its positives and negatives to me. By allowing a greater area to resonate, it makes the instrument a lot louder, also there's no feed back issues when gigging. Both positives. The bad thing for me is, the sound tends to blast right into my right ear and it is VERY loud. The idea of the side sound port is that the musician can hear the real sound of the instrument but for me its a little too loud and I usually wear an ear plug in my right ear now when I gig. It very well could just be I have sensitive ears though because I don't see any other BC guitar player complaining about that.

Once again not sure about the ukes, will have to wait to get our hands on one to really see.

UKISOCIETY
06-15-2009, 02:15 PM
I think the side hole is a great idea!! A uke with a cup-holder!!:D

rayan
06-15-2009, 02:16 PM
I think the side hole is a great idea!! A uke with a cup-holder!!:D

that would probably solve my problem if i used it like that

deach
06-15-2009, 02:18 PM
Really? I think it would go right into my face the way I hold it.

You must hold it differently than I do, and most people I know. I have 3 ukes with side ports. All 3 are located towards the top and it shoots the sound right into my chest. It's great watching women try those ukes because their breast usually cover the port.


The side sound port has its positives and negatives to me. By allowing a greater area to resonate, it makes the instrument a lot louder, ....
It probably seems louder but from the "front" it's not that much louder.

haole
06-15-2009, 02:30 PM
I've never played an ukulele named after a steakhouse before.

JT_Ukes
06-15-2009, 02:43 PM
it's a place to spit your gum before you start singing....

Ahnko Honu
06-15-2009, 02:49 PM
I think the side hole is a great idea!! A uke with a cup-holder!!:D

But all the potato chip crumbs will fall straight in. :p

shanifawni
06-15-2009, 03:04 PM
I think the side hole is a great idea!! A uke with a cup-holder!!:D

more like a shot glass holder.
also handy. haha

DeG
06-15-2009, 03:52 PM
It's great watching women try those ukes because their breast usually cover the port.

Recommended ukulele by cup size:
A = Soprano
B= Concert
C= Tenor
D = Baritone
DD = Forget about it, I'll play for you!! :D

Roy Jovero
06-15-2009, 05:12 PM
LOL @ DeG. I have lower standards... I'll play for C cup +

haolejohn
06-15-2009, 05:53 PM
Recommended ukulele by cup size:
A = Soprano
B= Concert
C= Tenor
D = Baritone
DD = Forget about it, I'll play for you!! :D

My wife takes offense:) She plays soprano, concert, and tenor.

Ahnko Honu
06-15-2009, 07:43 PM
it's a place to spit your gum before you start singing....

Jus' no chew tobacco. :eek::rolleyes:;)

Ahnko Honu
06-15-2009, 07:45 PM
My wife takes offense:) She plays soprano, concert, and tenor.

Oooh, my wife plays a Dreadnought Guitar tuned slack key. :shaka:

JT_Ukes
06-15-2009, 07:45 PM
Jus' no chew tobacco. :eek::rolleyes:;)

yeah... that'd be wrong,,,,,

ichadwick
06-16-2009, 12:59 AM
Hmmm. Intriguing - not a new idea, but interesting that someone wants to do it commercially with ukes. I've seen it on custom ukes before.

However, the front soundhole seems rather small. One of the points of having a soundhole at all is for the low frequency generated by the Helmholtz resonance to add to the mix. Small amount in a uke, I understand, but still present and contributes to the richness of the sound.

As I understand the physics, the hole has to be a particular size to create a sound at a particular pitch - and the smaller the hole the higher the pitch. That suggests to me this uke's soundhole will generate a higher resonance comared with other brands and wider holes.

Have to hear it, of course, in side-by-side comparison (which I probably will since you set off my UAS again, damn it!).

The top hole complicates the model, too, since it allows sound to exit at 90 degrees from the strings, but may dampen the HR factor considerably since there isn't a lot of air to move inside to begin with. Perhaps that's why the front is so small.

But the top hole does allow the player to hear the instrument in a new way - some of that exta volume you hear may not be an actual increase in output - but rather the sound emerging from the top. Perceived rather than actual.

Of course, more wood doesn't mean more tone or volume. In my experience, archtops are actually more muted than standard guitars. I've heard the same here about archtop ukes.

Also interested in the bracing pattern of the soundboard. That much extra wood vibrating would lead to a very different model for sound production. More complex tones and potentially larger dead zones. Love to see what's under the hood!

Choboy
06-16-2009, 03:34 AM
Weird place for a side port. Seems like the sound would go in your arm pit.

hahah that made me laugh for some reason.

Sayyadina
06-16-2009, 03:42 AM
Wow those are really ugly. Hurts my eyes to see those ukes. But maybe the sound makes up for it.

RevWill
06-16-2009, 03:43 AM
Wow those are really ugly. Hurts my eyes to see those ukes. But maybe the sound makes up for it.

I think they're kind of cool lookin'. Eye of the beholder and all that good rot.

Moondoggie
06-16-2009, 07:47 AM
...It very well could just be I have sensitive ears though because I don't see any other BC guitar player complaining about that...

Rayan, my man, I think you've got it wrong here. It's not that your ears are more sensitive, it's that you just rock that much harder than the other BC players :)

GrumpyCoyote
06-16-2009, 08:00 AM
Very cool - but I hope they offer a model without the "Riptide" text on the soundboard...

Is that an inlay?

I'm not a fan of overly large company branding on my stuff.

CoffeeMate
06-16-2009, 08:33 AM
Recommended ukulele by cup size:
A = Soprano
B= Concert
C= Tenor
D = Baritone
DD = Forget about it, I'll play for you!! :D

Oh No you dinit! Your lookin to get yourself in a whole mess of trouble ukulelejj ;) BtW sopranos fit quite nicely right on top, think of em as a kind of uke holder. :p


Very cool - but I hope they offer a model without the "Riptide" text on the soundboard...

Is that an inlay?

I'm not a fan of overly large company branding on my stuff.

The huge riptide is very off putting, I might like them without it. Personally, I am a fan of the tradional shapes/sound hole positions. These new fangaled things aren't my cuppa tea

cpatch
06-16-2009, 08:40 AM
Weird place for a side port. Seems like the sound would go in your arm pit.
At least you wouldn't have to worry about sweat stains on the uke. (In the uke, maybe.)

CmdrPiffle
06-16-2009, 09:02 AM
At least you wouldn't have to worry about sweat stains on the uke. (In the uke, maybe.)


Hey Craig, with my playing, that's where people want the sound to go:D

NukeDOC
06-16-2009, 09:09 AM
mmm that all blonde one is tits (no pun intended considering where this thread has veered off to). wonder how much they'll be retailing for.

ichad - boulder creek has a website. they show their bracing for their guitars there. but it doesnt look like a system that would benefit the size of the ukulele, using those suspended beams like that.

rayan - what happened to the taylor? how is it busted? can i have it? :smileybounce:

Gcow55
06-16-2009, 01:46 PM
These look pretty cool, and I've heard decent things about their guitars and the side sound hole. However, like Grumpy, I am not fond of the "Riptide" on the soundboard. It's just tacky to me. Without it, they would be beautiful instruments.

Harold O.
06-16-2009, 01:55 PM
It's give or take on the overall design. Personal choice and all that.

I'm wondering if a player could use some sort of blocking/tuning plug on the sound holes and adjust for different conditions, songs, etc. Since the holes are not covered by strings, the design could allow for some interesting sound possibilities with little effort.

adellethegreat
06-16-2009, 02:04 PM
I completely agree. So so pretty minus that glaring logo. If it were on the fretboard even I don't think I would've minded... but right in the middle? Kills it.

haole
06-16-2009, 02:55 PM
Yeah, what happened to your Taylor, rayan? :(

rayan
06-16-2009, 04:14 PM
I think I left my taylor in the trunk 1 too many times. the pickups fell off. I need to send it back to SD to get it fixed.

ichadwick
06-18-2009, 01:20 AM
I emailed Boulder Creek and got a reply from Mike, VP of product development. Ukes are due this fall - samples coming in for testing and tewaking this month. Prices expected to range from $99 to $350. Mikes says, "Many of them come with a great preamp and tuner built in for live and studio work."

I'm going to get one, assuming they're solid wood. I've been giving serious thought to an archtop of late, and while not quite the same, this will probably fill the need.

He sent me some images, many the same as what he sent Rayan, but here's another couple to consider.